Hard to believe, but there was a time when an artist from New York meant about as much to the art world as a creative type from Phoenix means to it today.
Seriously, though, before the world wars, if you werent a painter in Paris, you really had no chance of making it big. But after Europe was ravaged, the U.S. swooped in as the art worlds leader. Specifically, New York artists such as Willem de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Jackson Pollock, and Robert Motherwell, who all paved the way in the 20th century and beyond.
If you want the whole story, check out the free screening of Painters Painting, a 1973 documentary that chronicles the New York art scene through interviews with key artists who discuss movements from Abstract Expressionism to Pop Art.